Liverpool Football Club has a long and proud history dating back to its inception in1892.
Their home ground at Anfield Stadium is considered to be one of the toughest stadiums to play at, for visiting teams.
One end of the stadium is built on a slight rise which is aptly referred to as the Kop and its from here that the most ardent supporters of the club congregate to dish out their vociferous support for their team while hurling verbal abuse at their visitors.
Liverpool Football Club has a history to be proud of. Ever since breaking away from what was once the current day football club of Everton, LFC has carved itself into football’s ‘Hall Of Fame’ through both their talent and resilience.
The club was officially founded in 1892, when Everton Football Club moved from its Merseyside venue at Anfield Road to its new stadium at Goodison Park.
In 1893, the club joined the football league and under the management of Irishman, John McKenna, a team was formed. McKenna was well acquainted with Scottish football and he initially formed the new team which included 9 Scottish players.
The club was successful in its first season and without conceding even one game, they won the 2nd division league championship. They also scored their highest ever league win in the 2nd division by beating Rotherham 10 -1.
Manager Tom Watson, succeeded McKenna and the club began to enjoy further success on the field which included winning two league titles.
From as early as 1901, the club saw itself on the winning side of several competitions, including league titles in 1901, 1906, 1922 and 1923, but by the late 40’s that success started to wane, finally culminating in relegation to the English 2nd division in 1954 where they remained for several more years under different managers, John Welsh and Phil Taylor respectively.
Anfield stadium is slightly risen at one end and this has come to be known as the Kop. In 1928, the kop was given a new roof and it’s from that the die-hard fans congregate in numbers to intimidate their club’s rivals with their frenetic support of their beloved LFC.
Shankly Grabs The Club By THe Horns
At the age of 46, William (Bill) Shankly took charge of Liverpool Football Club in 1959 as they dwindled near the bottom of the 2nd Division table. Born in Glenbuck Scotland, Shankly had been a successful player himself and before his career was interrupted by World War 2, he had played for several teams in the football league and had also represented the national team of Scotland. In total he played well over 300 games at a professional level.
After taking over the reins at the club, Shankly immediately let go of almost two dozen players whom he felt were not up to standard. By 1962, after introducing a strict training programme with the assistance of Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Reuben Bennett, Shankly had the team promoted back to what was then the 1st Division of English football, now known as the Englsih Premier League where they have remained to this day.
Shankly saw fit to give his new team, new colours and the colour of choice, was red shirt and red shorts. With Anfield Road Stadium as their permanent home, the team has been known as the The Reds ever since.
Shankly took the club to several more successful wins including their first FA Cup in 1965 and their first UEFA Cup in 1973 and by the time the Scots Manager left the club in 1974, he had led them to 8 league titles.
LFC Highjack Anthem
Energised by their club’s improvement, the supporters adopted the classic hit ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ as their swan song. The song was originally written by Rodgers and Hammerstein in 1945. In 1964, a cover version of the song was recorded by the local Liverpool band Gerry And
The Pacemakers who took the track to a Nr 1 hit in the UK.
The symbolic lyrics and moving melody of the song ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ has remained the LFC anthem ever since those early days and supporters belt it out in full voice at the beginning and end of every home match at Anfield Road Stadium. The song has also been adopted by several other football teams around the world including Scottish League Champions, Celtic.
Around the same time and under the direction of music producer, George Martin, Gerry And The Pacemakers also recorded two other consecutive Nr 1 hits, including, ‘How Do You Do It’, and ‘I Like It’.
Gerry Marsden was the frontman for the group and during the next few years, he also wrote other hits including, ‘It’s Alright’ I’m The One’ and ‘Ferry Cross The Mersey’, which was also the title of a film the band members starred in.
Gerry And The Pacemakers were all locally born in Liverpool and under the management of Brian Epstein they went on to claim world fame with numerous other hits worldwide, second only to another local Liverpool Band, the Beatles who by no coincidence, were also managed by Epstein.
Golden Years At Anfield
The Club’s success continued after Shankly’s departure and in 1974 a new manager was appointed. 55 year old Bob Paisley, had been working with the team under Shankly for several years. He was also an ex player of the team who played in a defensive role until his playing career was interrupted by World War 2.
During his wartime service, he was involved in the allied liberation of Rome, the city he would return to 33 years later, when Liverpool claim victory to their first ever european cup.
He was a snappy dresser and would often turn heads with his fashion combination of jazzy ties and pin-striped shirts and in his first season as manager, the team won the league title and the UEFA Cup.
The following season got even better when Liverpool FC won another league title, the European Cup and The European Super Cup and it was just the start to his managerial career that would inevitably make him the most successful manager in English football.
As an ex player, Paisley brought a new dynamic to the team which included an aggressive forward line with quick counter attacks when the moment arose. He had also studied physiotherapy and massage techniques which gave him a keen knowledge of how to correct player injuries in the shortest time possible.
In his managing career, between 1974 – 1983 he led the team to 20 trophies, including three european cups, making him one of only two men to achieve that goal.
After retiring in 1983, Paisley was replaced by Joe Fagan who in his first year, led the team to victory in the league title, the league cup and the European Cup, all in the same season.
Legends Abound At Anfield
Liverpool FC dominated English football in the 80’s, and much of their success can be attributed to Welsman, Ian Rush who was signed to the club for £300,000 in 1980.
Rush scored 346 goals in 660 games during his football career including a record breaking 287 for the club which still stands today, although it is close to being broken by recent newcomer, Mohamed Salah.
1983-84 was his best season, scoring 45 goals for the club plus 2 more for the Welsh national team an achievement that led to becoming the first british player to receive Europe’s Golden Boot award plus being voted player of the year.
Robbie Fowler joined LFC at age 11 after joining the junior academy of excellence. In 1996, after scoring 4 goals against Middlesborough he reached a total of 100 goals in an even shorter time than his predecessor, Ian Rush.
Other goal scoring legends that stand out for the club include, the likes of Kenny Dalgleish, Micahel Owen, Dirk Kuyt, Luis Suarez, and Fernando Torres. Midfielders who have left their mark on the club include, Graeme Souness, John Barnes, Xabi Alonso, Phillipe Coutinho and the most famous of them all, Steven Gerrard who captained the team, for most of his career.
Players who stand out in a defensive role include, Mark Lawrensen, John Arne Riise, Sami Hyypia and lifetime defender Jamie Carragher who also captained the team on numerous occasions.
In a goalkeeping role, legends were created with the likes of, Ray Clemence, Bruce Grobler, and Pepe Reina.
Dark Times For Liverpool
While The Beatles were enjoying international success, back on homeground at Anfield Road, Liverpool Football Club was carving out their own piece of history. The skillful management of Shankly saw the team go on to start winning major events and by the 1970’s the Reds had put their stamp on football not only in the UK, but also in Europe.
The team’s success continued into the 80’s, however, in 1985, their rise to fame was badly marred during an important European Cup Final match against the Italian Club Juventus, bad crowd behaviour sadly led to the deaths of 39 fans after a wall collapsed.
The tragic disaster took place at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels and following an inquiry, LFC supporters were held mainly accountable for the crowd trouble. It was a dark day for football worldwide and it also cast a gloomy shadow over English football whose teams were banned from participating in European competitions for 5 years with LFC being banned for 6 years.
A mere four years later, in 1989, Liverpool Football Club was again struck by disaster when 94 fans lost their lives after being crushed at the Hillsborough Stadium just before kickoff to the FA Cup Semi Final against Nottingham Forest. The Hillsborough Stadium was selected as neutral ground for the event and sadly, overcrowding has been regarded as the reason for the tragedy.
The Reds Are Coming
2019 has been what has been described as the most exciting Premier League battle ever with LFC missing out on another league title by just one point to rivals Manchester City. The two clubs interchanged leadership of the league standings 29 times during the season, and the title wasn’t determined until the very last match of the season with LFC losing out by one point.
Despite the decline in domestic dominance since the early 90’s, The Reds have gone on to win several other major tournaments and have been especially successful in european football.
In what has been described as the greatest ever comeback in the UEFA Champions League history and after a 3-0 deficit in the first leg, LFC trounced Barcelona with a final score of 4-0 winning by an overall aggregate of 4-3 in the 2nd leg of the competition and gaining a place in the finals against fellow English side Tottenham Hotspurs.
The match which was end to end from the first whistle, has aptly been described as one of the best ever comebacks in European football even surpassing the Reds miraculous win in the same competition against AC Milan in Istanbul in 2005. On that special night after trailing by 3-0, The Reds came back to level the score and finally won the competition on a penalty shootout.
With 6 UEFA Champions League trophies adorning their trophy cabinet, LFC’s european success surpasses all other English teams and their wins in the competition now also places them one win ahead of their Spanish rivals Barcelona.
Greatest Ever Comeback’s
After what has been described as the greatest ever European football come back, LFC eliminated Barcelona in the second leg of the competition with a spectacular performance on home ground at Anfield Road. This followed a first leg defeat for Liverpool in front of a hostile crowd at Barcelana’s infamous Nou Camp Stadium.
In the 2nd leg held at Anfield stadium and urged on by their home supporters Liverpool sealed the deal when Liverpool local boy, Trent Alexander Arnold, walked away from a Liverpool corner and then stepped back to place a perfect ball at the head of midfield Dutch player Georginio Winjnaldum who popped the ball into the back of the net with ease, giving Liverpool a decisive win of 4-0, which took them into the finals of the UEFA Cup.
The following night, in an equally impressive performance and in a similar fashion to the Liverpool comeback, English club Tottenham Hotspurs also overcame a deficit score against them in their first leg, by beating the youthful but talented Dutch club Ajax in the semi final.
Trailing by one goal from the first leg, new hope came when striker Lucas Moura scored twice in the 2nd half but Spurs were still on the losing side until 5 minutes into stoppage time, Moura slammed the ball into the back of the net giving him a hattrick and Tottenham the win that took them into the UEFA Cup final for the first time in the club’s history. Their win meant that the UEFA Cup final was going to be an all english affair between Liverpool and Tottenham Hot Spurs.
A Hot Summer’s Night In Madrid
In one of the biggest football stadiums’ in the world, the Santiago Bernabeu on the outskirts of the Spanish capital, Madrid, can accommodate up to 125,000 spectators and on the night of the UEFA Cup final, both teams were allowed 30,000 supporters each.
The game got off to a horrendous start for Spurs, when Liverpool was awarded a rather dubious penalty in the first 27 seconds of the game after Spurs defender, Moussa Sissoko left an arm out while defending against Liverpool striker Sadio Mane’ which was seen as a handball. The penalty was converted by Mo Salah and Liverpool held that lead throughout the rest of the game.
The thousands of travelling supporters who made their way to Spain thought they would be in for a night of exhilarating football, but that was not to be. The game fizzled into one of the most boring exhibitions of football ever witnessed in a final with the ball spending much of its time in the air while nervous players tried taking control of the game.
Justice to the score line after the dubious penalty decision was finally achieved when Divok Origi brought on as a substitute again did well by putting the ball to the back of the net, rendering Liverpool 6 times winners of the coveted trophy.
What Next For Liverpool?
Finishing the English Premier League with an astounding 97 points and still coming 2nd best to Manchester City by 1 point is a difficult pill to swallow for any club.
With one of the strongest squads in many years and under the creative management of Jurgen Klopp, the club is poised to return to its former glory of the 1980’s when they dominated English football.
The addition of Brazlian goalkeeper, Allison and Dutch centre fullback, Virgil Van Dyk has bolstered the team’s defence and with the inclusion of Gomes and Joel Matip, breaking through that line of defence has become a formidable task for any opposing teams.
The midfield is also strong with captain Henderson at the helm and the front row attacking force of Mane, Firmino and Salah are now recognised as being one of the best in the league.
With a total of 90 trophies won over the years, including 18, League Wins and 6 UEFA Champions League wins, The Reds look set to be on the rise again.
Since its inception in 1892, Liverpool Football Club has gone on to build a remarkable history and today it boasts more than 200 supporters clubs in more than 50 countries around the world.
Hopes are running high for the supporters, but The Reds can always be assured by their legions of loyal supporters, that win or lose, the team will never walk alone.